Not every restaurant has the resources to invest in the latest tech. But observing what happens for those that do can offer a window into how the industry is evolving – and what consumers will begin to expect as a result. Taco Bell is now making a significant move into edge computing – technology that is currently already being used in sectors such as energy and manufacturing to make fast decisions (with help from 5G internet speeds) from data collected by connected devices. Taco Bell is using edge computing to support digital order placement, which allows it to process requests and account data using a mix of cloud services, connected devices and software at the restaurants themselves – and to do so at lightning speed, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. A computer server at each restaurant accepts data from digital and in-person orders and loyalty accounts, then combines it with kitchen operations to make rapid decisions. In practice, this means an employee can be alerted at the precise time he needs to drop potatoes into the fryer for an order of nacho fries so they are ready just as the delivery driver arrives to collect them.